159 Ridgecrop Drive, Castle Hill
Following Scully’s successful Delta Dogs audition and my snack at Shepherd’s Artisan Bakehouse, we went a couple of hours later on a quest for lunch. Searching the Castle Hill area located a suburban bakery that we decided to check out, in a smaller local shopping centre than the massive Castle Towers across the other side of Castle Hill. This was Knights Bakehouse (which also eschewed any apostrophe, in the same way as Davids Cakes, reviewed recently).
Also similarly to Davids Cakes, they had two types of vanilla slice, a traditional yellow custardy one with passionfruit icing, and a “French” vanilla slice, with a more creamy style filling and an icing sugar topping.
On this occasion however I decided the yellow slices looked a little dodgy and the French style ones looked a lot more appetising, so I chose one of those, to go with a sausage roll.
We sat outside at a table to eat. The roll looked bog standard, with a smooth pastry that looks more like it came from a Pampas packet than the skilful hands of a pastry chef, and a filling that looked neatly sliced off with a knife, as though the roll was cut from a longer roll of ingredients prepared en masse. The pastry and meat do look decently baked, although otherwise uninspiring.
The pastry turns out to be semi-shortcrusty, a bit flaky but not a lot, and a bit biscuity. The filling is blandish, with a point for some onion chunks, but no herbs and a little under seasoned. It’s not bad, but then it’s not good either.
The French vanilla slice on the other hand looks temptingly delicious. it has three layers of thin, almost filo-like pastry, crumbling into shards at a mere glance, stuffed with two thick layers of creamy white filling. The filling sticks messily to the paper wrapping, leaving alluring puckers and peaks across the vertical surfaces of the slice. The top is dusted generously with icing sugar.
The pastry is nice and crisp and very flaky. The filling is creamy and light, really a whipped cream rather than custard, with a nice vanilla flavour. It oozes out with bite pressure and goes stickily all over the fingers, but acts to hold the nice crispy shards of pastry together. It’s very messy to eat! But delicious – soft and creamy with crunchy pieces and a good solid vanilla sensation. It’s pretty darn good!
Sausage roll: 5/10
French vanilla slice: 8/10